Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (March 2 - March 8, 2013)

New York Times published the exciting piece “Suit Says Sherlock Belongs to the Ages” which succinctly outlined all the major controversies to happen in the Sherlockian world (so far) in 2013, from the Philip Shreffler article in the revamped Saturday Review of Literature to Klinger vs Conan Doyle Estate. For an insightful follow-up to the NYTimes piece from an indisputable Sherlockian insider, check out Sherlock Peoria's Mr Brad Keefauver's “Cry “Havoc!” and Loose the Hound of the Moor!, a most clever and appropriate title borrowed from the Bard. Sherlockian friends and acquaintances as well as organizations quoted and/or referenced in this historic (at least to Holmes fans/connoisseurs) New York Times article include: Leslie S Klinger, Lyndsay Faye, Richard Lancelyn Green, the Baker Street Irregulars, the Conan Doyle EstateBetsy Rosenblatt, Jon Lellenberg (unfortunately “Mr. Lellenberg declined to comment”), Darlene Cypser, the Baker Street Babes, Philip Shreffler, Christopher Roden, Richard Monson-Haefel (Steampunk Holmes publisher) and Alistair Duncan (though not named, Mr Duncan’s “Sherlockian Civil War" comment was referenced).

This Week’s Klinger vs. Conan Doyle Estate Articles:

Melville House begins with the rather provocative title: “Sherlock Holmes Estate Charged With ‘Copyfraud’” and goes on to frame the case within the larger fight against copyfraud ”whereby copyright is falsely asserted over works that are in fact in the public domain, is unfortunately a common practice in literature, particularly in the world of estate maintenance.”

Christian Science Monitor in “Sherlock Holmes fan to estate: Sherlock belongs to all of us” lists some of the key players in the case along with a very basic summary of the issues at stake.

Bloomberg Businessweek in “The Man Who’s Trying to Free Sherlock Holmes” focuses on Klinger qua Sherlockian and attorney, ending on the rather incongruous and bemusing note: “”The folks who are going to benefit from this the most are the ones making big Sherlock Holmes productions,” says Klinger. “Nobody cares about a short story anthology that, if it does really well, will still sell only 4,000 to 5,000 copies.” Maybe not. But plenty of people care about Sherlock Holmes.” Didn’t this all start because of a short story anthology?

Gawker in “No Suit, Sherlock: Doyle Estate is Embroiled in Public Domain Legal Battle” begins with one of the worst Sherlockian-legal puns as of late and ends with a downright weird attempt at breaking down the ‘key players’ as interpreted from the recent New York Times piece

Now, Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Links:

Baker Street Babes are celebrating 500,000 (that’s a “5” with five zeros after it - and a mustache apparently!) listens - including 15,000 Tumblr followers, 10,000 Twitter followers and 2,000 Facebook followers - this week by hosting three simultaneous and generous giveaways (one for each social network). For a list of prizes, click on the following: Twitter Prize, Tumblr First Prize, Tumblr Second PrizeFacebook First Prize and Facebook Second Prize. Personally, winning either the Basil Rathbone doll or the Billy Wilder The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Spanish poster would make my day. I’m sure it was also a nice treat to be mentioned prominently in last week’s NYTimes article as well.   


[Congratulations to the Babes on 500K listens! That’s the equivalent of every citizen of Seattle, WA listening to the BSB podcast. BSB500K!!]

The Art of Deduction - A Sherlock Holmes Collection “contains more than 50 brilliant examples of fan art and loads of stories, writings and poems. The book was created by blogger and huge BBC Sherlock fan Hannah Rogers and is now out in the USA (click here) and UK (currently the #1 Sherlock Holmes book in the UK click here). For fans outside the US and UK Book Depository (click here) offer free worldwide delivery. If they’re smart maybe they’ll also release a few limited edition print runs of some of the best work contained The Art of Deduction.


[Click for larger size to truly appreciate the subtlety of this example of “I Believe in Sherlock” fan-art.]

Neon Tommy published the second (of a projected three) obsessively delightful essay “Into The Hive Mind: Investigating Pastiches, Adaptations And Sherlock Holmes Beyond The Canon” where some of best Holmes TV and film adaptations are discussed along with an assortment of notable pastiches. 

Amarillo notes that this month “West Texas A&M University professor David Hart will introduce Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes and the Valley of Fear,” featuring one of the detective’s most notable encounters with arch-rival Moriarty. This event is sponsored by WT’s Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages. Series events are scheduled for the second Tuesday of every month.” Click for more information but let’s hope someone has the presence of mind to either video or audio record this interesting sounding lecture. 

iFanboy explores the role of Sherlock Holmes in their DC Histories series (“where we try to make sense of the continuity that perplexes, befuddles, and intimidates”). I absolutely love the art attached to this lengthy and informative piece. Find out about the history of Sherlock Holmes as found in various DC incarnations, including the Great Detective’s encounters with Batman, the Joker and other notable DC characters leading up to his most recent DC appearance in the Wildstorm miniseries titled Victorian Undead.


[Detective Comics (Vol. 1) #572 (1987) In-House Ad.]

Baker Street Blog reviewed Maria Konnikova’s Mastermind: “For both Sherlockians and the casual reader, Mastermind is relatively easy to comprehend, avoiding complicated language for an extremely simple approach. The final chapter - which outlines precisely how to attain Holmesian skills in deduction - is well worth the cost of the book. But it’s the chapters leading up to it, mixing familiar (and some unusual) references to the canon, that provide the bulk of Mastermind's value, placing Holmes' abilities in the realm of possibility.  Mastermind may not necessarily lead you to consider a career in being a consulting detective….but provides one of the best pieces of both Sherlockian and psychological scholarship. This is a must-read for the serious Holmes scholar.” 

Inspector Lestrade’s Blotter Page, the exciting new blog of Don Hobbs Sherlockian collector extraordinaire, shares a few pieces of his Hungarian Sherlockian collection “Of all my Hungarian translations the one below has one of my favorite covers.” I couldn’t agree more - absolutely stunning, though the Hound looks a little more like a dragon than I’ve ever imagined.


[1918 Hungarian pulp edition of the Hound.]

Tumblrful World of Disney posted a still from Alice’s Mysterious Mystery (1926). For the time being, you can find the complete short here, where the below scene can be found at 2:21 (coincidentally!).


[Scene from Alice’s Mysterious Mystery (1926).]

Sherlock Peoria in “Just Sherfocking Around’ reminds us that Sherlock Holmes is ultimately about having fun: “One of the great problems with being in what might be the world’s oldest ongoing fandom is that when something gets old, people start taking it a little too seriously. What started out as just a way of amusing one’s friends, something like the B.S.I. Buy-laws or that “Aunt Clara” song, eventually becomes ritual. And once something becomes ritual, it will always be very serious business in the eyes of some. The jokes cease to be funny (or are laughed at mechanically), and are dragged onward through history with the persistence of a Roman church.” Points to Mr Keefauver for admitting to a bit of inconsistency over the years when it comes to his writings on Sherlock Holmes in toto, though proclaiming somewhat dubiously that “style is just as important (or moreso) than substance”. So go out and do some quality Sherfrocking, either alone, with a friend or even, one can imagine, in a group!

Journal of Victorian Culture Online posted a set of reactions to BBC’s new offering Ripper Street from a variety of academics and/or Victorianists. If you haven’t seen an episode yet, Ripper Street is “a BBC TV series set in Whitechapel in London’s East End in 1889, six months after the infamous Jack the Ripper murders.” The first episode was entertaining (the case involved the brave new world of Victorian ‘snuff moving pictures’), but I have yet to sit down and really give it a chance. 


[The cast of BBC’s Ripper Street.]

Tea at 221B finds yet another fantastic Frederic Dorr Steele piece, this time in the form of an advertisement for “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange” from Collier’s


[“…At all news-stands for an entire month, 10 cts.”]

Lyndsay’s Intro to the Canon Part IV “the fourth and sadly last of Lyndsay’s four [audio] classes on the Sherlock Holmes stories at the Center for Fiction in Manhattan. This time it’s full of lots of Adventures!” 

Kieran McMullen re-posted a review by pastiche master-at-arms Philip K Jones of Mr McMullen’s Irish Rebels (MX), one of my favorite pastiches of 2012.

Meiringens posted a still of Geoffrey Whitehead and Donald Pickering from Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979-1980). The series is unofficially available through Youtube though I wish someone would find the original masters and clean them up and formally release them. 


[Geoffrey Whitehead and Donald Pickering as Holmes and Watson from a 1979 adaptation loosely based on Sheldon Reynolds' earlier Sherlock Holmes series from 1954-55.]

I Hear of Sherlock, the Tumblr blog of the IHOSE podcast of Burt Wolder and Scott Monty, posted one of the most colorful Sherlock movie posters of all time: “from the 1965 film A Study in Terror, in which Sherlock Holmes meets Jack the Ripper.” I was inspired to re-watch John Nevilles portrayal of Holmes - with Donald Houston picking up the Watson duties - and though A Study in Terror isn’t the most nuanced approach to the Great Detective, it can certainly be enjoyed for it’s straight shooting story telling style as well as sumptuous Eastmancolor visual glory - I highly suggest viewing a quality, widescreen (ie. proper aspect ratio) color print. (Beware: if you download your movies from torrent sites, you’ll find both pristine, true to color widescreen DVD-rips as well as a poor quality, washed-out color VHS-rips.)


[“For all of the Batman fans out there…”]

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    Yes, everybody go watch Ripper Street.
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